You’ve heard a lot about the human microbiome — it is a hot topic! But, most of the articles assume a certain amount of knowledge. What is all this about microbes and their effect on us? Where’s the instruction manual? Weren’t we supposed to use hand sanitizer to get rid of microbes?
In 2014, Rob Knight, a professor of pediatrics and computer science & engineering, gave a TED talk about the human microbiota. He was uniquely suited to give this TED talk; he is the Director of the Microbiome Initiative at UC Davis and the co-founder of both the American Gut Project and the Earth Microbiome Project. The talk, lasting 17.5 minutes, was a hit. Just in case you can’t process such new information so fast, Dr. Knight and a brilliant science writer, Brendan Buhler, teamed up to summarize those 17 minutes in a nice, small book. It is the smallest adult book about this subject that I have found and does a nice job of summarizing where we were in 2015.
If you feel like you want to get a better fundamental understanding of this topic, this book is for you. The goal? You can be a bit friendlier to, a somewhat better steward of, the 3 lbs or so of microbes that determine how your body and mind functions and how long you live.